Mr Madoff is alleged to have confessed to a huge Ponzi scheme (pyramid fraud).
Reports say the main owner of the New York Mets baseball team, Fred Wilpon, and former American football team owner Norman Braman are among the victims.
Others facing losses reportedly include French bank BNP Paribas, Japan's Nomura Holdings and Zurich's Neue Privat Bank.
Prosecutors say Mr Madoff, ex-head of the Nasdaq stock market, has described the fraud as "one big lie". More...